by Wendy Davis
I actually lost track of the date so I thought tomorrow was Australia Day what with it being the public holiday and everything. So I was a little unprepared to wake up and find the usual debates about Australia Day/Invasion Day etc etc. Also my Facebook feed was full of Aussie things and jokes so I got out of there pretty quickly.
Personally I find these conversations unproductive. I too feel uneasy about “celebrating” Australia Day in the same way that I feel uneasy about “celebrating” ANZAC Day. I’m not sure there’s anything to “celebrate” as in “Hurrah look at me with my fake flag tattoo on my face and my flag-cape”. Perhaps though there are lots of things we could take a moment to remember. We could remember Australia’s history and where this day sits in the complicated story that is Australia. We could also think about the future, what we still need to work on to make our country a safe, kind and supportive place for everyone here. What we don’t need is to buy cheap Australian tat from the supermarket and display it on our car.
Flags belong on flagpoles. (Gosh I feel all conservative as I type that).
So what did I do today? I admired the choice of Australian of the Year in Adam Goodes and read some stories about him. I went swimming at the pool. I had coffee with a lovely Twitter friend in real life. I watched a documentary about soccer in South Africa during apartheid and marvelled yet again at the inhumanity of that regime. I snoozed on the sofa. I got up and typed this. Australia Day doesn’t need to be about big public gestures if you don’t want it to be. It can just be a moment to stop, think about where you sit and what you think about our nation.
Also, if you want to make a beer damper then go for it.